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Enfermería Global

On-line version ISSN 1695-6141


COELHO, M.S.; SILVA ARRUDA, C.  and  FARIA SIMOES, S.M.. Higiene de manos como estrategia fundamental en el control de infección hospitalaria: un estudio cuantitativo. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2011, vol.10, n.21. ISSN 1695-6141.

Hospital-acquired infections (HI) continue to constitute a serious public health issue worldwide. Among the main measures of prevention and control is hand hygiene, which, according to Semmelweis and Florence Nightingale, is an important tool to reduce HI rates. This research adopts a descriptive and quantitative approach to analyze the frequency of hand washing by healthcare staff of a university hospital located in Niterói, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After being approved by the Ethics Committee, the study began by collecting data through a questionnaire comprising open and closed questions about the practice of hand washing as an instrument of data collection. After analyzing the data collected, 78% of professionals have been identified as women. With regard to age, the highest frequency occurred in the group of individuals between 26 and 45 years at 60%. Among the professional categories, 36% are nurses, 58% are practical nurses and 6%, nursing assistants. Regarding training or upgrading in the area of HI, we have observed that 48% of professionals have not acquired this. In relation to hand hygiene, 98% said they always wash them throughout the day, 96% said they do so in between procedures, 86%, after removal of gloves. Among the products used for hand washing, we observed massive use of soap and water, a practice cited by 92% of the respondents, followed by alcohol gel at 44%. But when asked about how they carried it out, only 26% of the professionals could describe it in detail. After this study, we conclude that, although health professionals know the importance of hand washing and argue that they frequently do it during care, just very few of them effectively perform the technique in a satisfactory way, which shows the need for greater professional involvement and constant update on the subject.

Keywords : Cross infection; Handwashing; Nursing.

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